Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Course, Monday 16 October

Jim, Gary and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on an overcast and still morning. It started to rain a little on and off for the first half of the session but it never amounted to much. The strangest thing about the weather was the much reported red sky, a strange atmosphere to ring in but it did not stop the birds finding the nets and with 2 MP3s playing most of the birds were attracted to them.

We were hoping the calm before storm Ophelia arrived would be long enough to allow a full morning session and we were pleased to find the Met Office were a little out on their timings for the wind picking up. We took down just before lunch as the breeze started throwing leaves into the nets.

We ended with a catch which was steady throughout the morning. Ten Redwings were nice as few had been reported so far this month with the winds being predominantly from the west. We ended with a total catch 64 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 5/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Redwing 10/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 4/0, Robin 2/1, Blackcap 2/0, Goldcrest 6/0, Blue Tit 8/3, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/1, Bullfinch 2/5, Lesser Redpoll 2/0, Greenfinch 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 9 October

The plan today was to put up the nets at the site for the last time this year, hopefully catch a few birds and then remove all the poles/guys etc. We ended with the biggest team of the year out and more birds than we expected. Tom, Duncan, Sue, Trish, Jake, Gary and I were joined by Maria and Kate who were out for the first time with the group. We set all the usual nets on a calm but clear morning. We had two MP3 players playing warbler calls. 
 
The catching rate was steady throughout with a little flurry at the end when a few Long-tailed Tits appeared with their usual ‘friends’. The migrant warblers have all gone apart from Blackcap and Chiffchaff, but it was nice to catch 3 Cetti’s Warblers. 
 
We ended with a total catch of 46 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Wren 7/1, Dunnock 5/2, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 5/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Cetti’s Warbler 3/0, Goldcrest 3/2, Blue Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/2, Bullfinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 3/0. 
 
The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, but no winter thrush movement was noted.
 
Kev
 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 10 September

Alex, Tom, Duncan and I held a ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. I did not expect a big catch and the Blotts end would probably have produced more - but after the recent car crimes at that end this was considered a safer bet. It was a cool, clear and a little breezy to start but cloud soon rolled in. We put up 11 nets and had two MP3 players going. Catching rate was slow to start and never really picked up, but the breeze did pick up so we took down a little early.

We ended with a total catch of 32 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Wren 1/2, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 3/2, Reed Warbler 3/0, Blackcap 8/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Goldcrest 3/1, Great Tit 3/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2015. Overhead were lots of House Martins and a couple of Swifts were seen about 3 times.

Kev


 Kingfisher (A. Phillips)

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 7 September

Duncan, Mick and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets and another small line of a 12m and 9m net on an overcast and still morning. The site sounded quiet again and with many of the warblers gone from Holme Pierrepont last weekend we were hoping the small line with Linnet playing on an MP3 would help increase the expected low catch. We had two more MP3s playing warbler calls along the main net line.

We ended up being surprised by the catch which was steady throughout the morning, despite not catching any Linnets! A Jay added a bit of interest early on and a Reed Bunting was a first for the site but the main surprise was the total number of birds, particularly Blackcap and Bullfinch. We ended with a total catch of exactly 100 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Jay 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 24/1, Whitethroat 2/1, Chiffchaff 11/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 14/4, Bullfinch 14/4, Goldfinch 8/0, Greenfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Recent Recoveries

A number of Barn owl recoveries have come in, following the annual rounds of the nest boxes. Firstly, the more notable ones:

- A bird ringed in Scredington in June 2006 has been controlled in Eaton, Leics, exactly 4000 days after it was ringed.
- A bird ringed at Stathern in 2016 has been controlled further east, near Spalding in July this year.
- A bird originally captured near Salisbury Plain in August 2012, was controlled by the group at a Box at Hawton in May 2016.

And other short-term, more local recoveries:
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Hoveringham in 2014 was controlled at Hawton in June this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Morton in 2016 was controlled at Kneeton in June this year.
- A bird ringed by Birklands RG as a youngster at the Newark Sewage Treatment works in 2014 was controlled at Kirklington in June this year.
- A Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project bird, ringed as a youngster in Keyworth in 2016 was controlled at Widmerpool in June this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Old Dalby in 2016 was controlled at Stathern in May this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Girton in 2016 was controlled at a nearby Box in the same area in June this year.
- A Rushcliffe Barn owl project bird, ringed as a youngster in Hickling in 2016, was controlled at Colston Bassett in June this year.
- Another Rushcliffe Barn owl project bird, ringed as a youngster in Bunny in 2016 was controlled at Stathern in May this year.
- And finally, a bird ringed as a youngster in Normanton in 2016 was found injured by a member of the public in Stamford in August, its fate is unknown.

In other news...

A Kestrel, ringed in Old Dalby as a youngster, has been controlled as an adult at a box near Halam in June this year.

An Attenborough-born Common Tern, ringed in 2011, was seen at Seaforth NR, Merseyside in July this year, having had its ring read in the field.

A Woodpigeon, a bird not ringed in numbers by the group, has been found dead on the roads near Findern, Derby in August. It had originally been ringed in Toton in September 2016

A Sand Martin controlled at the Attenborough colony in July this year had originally been ringed at Redhill Marina by Ratcliffe-on-Soar in 2014.

A Blackcap ringed at Holme Pierrepont in 2015 has been controlled in North Notts, being captured at a site near Cottam in June.

One of the group's Pied Flycatchers, from the nestbox project in Wales, has been controlled at a Box in Shropshire in May this year. It had originally been ringed as a chick in 2016.

One of the many juvenile Starlings ringed in the Meadows in the spring of 2015 was found dying in nearby Wilford in August this year.

And finally a bit of good news - the group has claimed the Goldfinch longevity record, for one of its birds ringed on 23rd May 2007. Unfortunately this bird was found dead, but had travelled down to Devon, where it was picked up and reported in Barnstaple. This is 10 years and 3 months after it was initially ringed in Bingham by old group member John Black (as an age 5 - so it would have been around 11 years old).

It beats the previous record set at the end of last year in Suffolk by just under 3 months (though that bird was controlled so could still be going strong!).

The previous top 3 looked like this:

V451151 First-year Male 28-12-2006 Chelmondiston: 51°59'N 1°12'E (Suffolk)
Caught by ringer 30-12-2016 Chelmondiston: 51°59'N 1°12'E (Suffolk) 0km 10y 0m 2d

N855368 First-year Female 13-03-2002 Parkhead, Sheffield: 53°20'N 1°32'W (South Yorkshire)
Freshly dead 23-06-2010 Sheffield: 53°23'N 1°30'W (South Yorkshire) 8km NNE 8y 3m 10d

T971203 First-year Male 30-11-2005 East Grinstead: 51°6'N 0°0'W (West Sussex)
Freshly dead (injury) 24-01-2014 East Grinstead: c. 51°7'N 0°0'W (West Sussex) 0km 8y 1m 25d

Tom

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 3 September

Duncan, Trish, Jake, Sue, Gary and I went to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. An overcast but still start looked promising but the forecast was for a freshening wind as the morning went on and it did get breezy by the time we finished. Two MP3 players were going but the site seemed quiet after the last few weeks of good catches. We started slowly and it never really picked up. The best bird was certainly a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler that found its way into the top shelf of a four shelf net. This is the first Grasshopper Warbler the group has caught since 2014 and the first at Holme Pierrepont since 2011. When we do catch them it is usually adults in the first half of the summer, the last juvenile we had was in 1996.

We ended with a total catch of 46 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Dunnock 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 14/1, Whitethroat 2/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Grasshopper Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 3/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/6, Treecreeper 1/0, Bullfinch 2/2, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was Bullfinch from 2014.

Overhead were plenty of House Martins and a Hobby put on a good show all morning including a fly past just above our heads when we were at the base.

Unfortunately the morning was spoilt by an idiot who thought his needs were greater than anyone else’s. Jake arrived a little after the rest of us and parked his Ford Ka in one of the parking bays just outside the Skylarks gate. At about 10.00 am a man came to find us as he had just witnessed a youth in a black hoodie smashing the window of the Ka and taking something from it. It turned out he had taken a cheap and old sat nav worth next to nothing. Jake knows he should not have left it on show but it was too late by then. Several members of the public were extremely helpful in coming to find us, watching the car when another was looking for us and calling the police and getting a crime number. We would like to thank them for their actions. Jake called the police again when he got to his car but despite one of the members of the public having just seen the culprit further down the lane, and had a description, the police did not really seem interested. There were another 3 cars parked in the bays with Jake’s but his was the only one damaged, perhaps the others would have been targeted if the culprit had not been disturbed.

Kev




Dawn, Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler (S. Lakeman)


Holme Pierrepont, Friday 1 September

Jim, Gary and I held a ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont having had a good catch there the previous week. It was a calm and clear morning with a heavy dew making us all wish we had put our over trousers on! We put up the same nets as last week and had three MP3 players going. Catching started quietly and dropped as the sun got higher. Warblers dominated again but not in the same numbers as the last visit and we ended with a total catch of 40 including 7 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 1/2, Reed Warbler 4/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blackcap 10/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Bullfinch 5/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2014. Overhead were a few Swallows and up to four Buzzards.

Kev

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 27 August

Alex, Gary and I held another ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. A small team again meant we had to limit the number of nets on a clear, still and cold morning, although as the sun got up the temperature rose rapidly. We set a couple of MP3 players going as usual.

Catching started quite well but tapered off as the sun got higher and the numbers of people out for a walk increased. Reed Warbler numbers dipped again this week but Whitethroat and Phylloscopus warbler numbers were similar to last week.

We ended with a total catch of 67 including 7 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 3/1, Blackcap 29/0, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/4, Chiffchaff 4/0, Willow Warbler 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0.

The oldest retrap was a Whitethroat from 2016. Overhead was pretty quiet just a couple of Buzzard a few Swallows and a Raven.

Kev



A young male Blackcap going through its post-juvenile moult. (A. Phillips)


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Tuesday 22 August

The forecast was for perfect netting conditions, overcast and still. So Duncan, Gary and I decided to make a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. The forecast proved to be correct and we set most of the usual nets on a warm, muggy and overcast morning. Not a breath of wind, two MP3 players going but a very quiet site did not bode well.

Catching started slowly but then it picked up and then kept going all morning. At last we caught a party of Long-tailed Tits this summer, only 6 to start but they had a bunch of warblers travelling with them and the same with another three later in the morning. Four new juv (3JJ) Song Thrush were a surprise and may well have been from the same brood.

We ended with a total catch of 86 including 9 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Song Thrush 4/0, Wren 5/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 19/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 12/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 9/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/0, Bullfinch 1/2, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2014. Overhead were Buzzards and a Swift.


Kev

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 20 August

Duncan, Gary and I held a ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. Just a small team so we limited the number of nets and set the two MP3 players going. The weather was quite calm to start but with clear skies we expected the catching rate to drop after the first few rounds and it certainly did.

Reed Warbler and Whitethroat numbers dipped this week and the fall in Phylloscopus warblers mentioned last week continued but Blackcaps were still around in numbers. A couple of Greenfinches was unusual for this site and another juv Goldcrest was nice to catch.

We ended with a total catch of 81 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Dunnock 0/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 6/0, Blackcap 39/1, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/2, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 5/1, Greenfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were at least 3 Swifts and a couple of Ravens.

Kev

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 13 August

Duncan, Alex, Trish and I made another visit to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont this morning. We were also joined by Jim who came out for a catch up with some ‘small’ birds. It was good to see Jim, having not been out mist-netting with him since we were at Brackenhurst last winter. We put up the same 11 nets we used the previous week and set three MP3 players going with warbler calls. The morning started clear, cool and quite still but the breeze did increase as the morning went on, unfortunately no cloud cover came to help us. Gary also came along later for the middle part of the session.

Catching started very briskly again but dropped as the sun got higher and stronger, again warblers made up the majority of the catch. We ended with a total catch of 108 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Wren 4/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 32/3, Garden Warbler 3/1, Whitethroat 15/3, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Reed Warbler 19/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2016.

Plenty of birds about again, particularly Sylvia warblers but the Phylloscopus warbler numbers have dropped significantly in the last couple of weeks.

Kev

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 10 August

Duncan and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on a clear but still morning. The site sounded quiet and the vegetation was still wet through from the rain that fell all day on Tuesday. Catching started slowly and never really picked up. Where are all the warblers that were at this site? A female Sparrowhawk added a bit of interest early on. We ended with a total catch of 39 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 2/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 11/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 0/1, Blue Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 4/0, Linnet 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 6 August

It was a beautiful, clear and still morning as we put up the nets. I joined Kev, Gary, Trish and Jake for my annual catch-up in the school holidays and having not been to the site for a year I couldn't quite believe how much it had changed with many of the net rides moved because of the increasingly tall trees and shrubs and impenetrable bramble thickets. The site is also getting more and more popular with visitors (birders, dog walkers and the like) so a fair amount of time has to be dedicated to public relations.

Despite the temperature rising fairly swiftly, we caught well until late morning and processed a total of 104 birds including 6 retraps and 1 control Reed Warbler. The total comprised (new/recapture): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 2/0, Dunnock 3/0, Wren 3/0, Robin 4/0, Blackcap 18/2, Garden Warbler 8/0, Whitethroat 18/1, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 18/1, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 4/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from 2016.

As well as the good numbers of young warblers, a large flock of Goldfinches was around, a couple of Buzzards were overhead and a handful of Swifts came over. Common Blue Damselflies were abundant and a few Migrant and Brown Hawkers were patrolling. Butterflies were not in huge numbers, but by the time we left around lunchtime, good numbers of Common Blues had started to appear. 

Pete

 A juvenile Goldfinch in full wing moult - once rare, but apparently increasing in frequency. 

 Kingfisher (P. Leonard)
 
 Garden Warbler (P. Leonard) 

 Lesser Whitethroat (P. Leonard) 


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tawny Owls

This species is one SNRG targets and we have some great data. This is highlighted by the interesting piece here: http://btoringing.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/who-gives-hoot.html

Recent Recoveries

A range of recoveries have been filtering through during the summer months. Starting, as is the tradition, with the Barn Owls:

- A bird ringed in Greasley as an adult in 2012, has been controlled by Sorby Breck ringers at Hardwick Hall in May this year.

- A bird ringed as a chick in Cropwell Bishop in June last year, was retrapped at Lambley this June.

- A bird ringed in Girton last September, was found dead on the railway line at Collingham in July.

- A bird was found dead in Bathley, having hit a window, in July. It had been ringed as a youngster in the village in June last year.

- And finally, a bit of an oldie, a bird ringed as a chick in Tollerton in 2006, was retrapped at Hockerton near Newark in June this year, 11 years on.

Another oldie, a Tawny Owl, was captured at the nest in Flintham in May. This bird has originally been ringed 11 years previously as an adult in 2006, and was also retrapped in 2013.

A Little Owl originally ringed in Hoby, Leics in 2013 as a chick, has been controlled at a box at Tithby for a second time, in June this year. It was also found breeding here in 2014. Unfortunately the last two seasons have seen the owls in this box fail to raise a brood.

A Mute Swan, Colour-ringed by Sorby Breck ringers in Markeaton in August 2010, had its colour rings read at Attenborough in June this year. An old Mute Swan recovery has also come through, concerning another Sorby Breck bird that was ringed at Ilkeston in July 2007, and noted by SNRG in Cossall in March 2010.

A Blackcap ringed as a 3J at Holme Pierrepont in July 2016 has been found dead in Bawburgh, Norfolk, in June this year.

Finally, a number of Sand Martin recovery details have come through from birds controlled at the Attenborough breeding colony:

- 2 birds were controlled on 25 May, one had been ringed locally at Redhill Marina in May 2014. The other had been ringed a little further away in Petit Matton, Charente-maritime in France, in August 2015.

- 3 birds were controlled on 21 June. One had been ringed as a chick at a colony in Thornton, by Charnwood Ringing Group in 2015. Another had been ringed as a chick at a colony at Brandon Marsh in May 2016 by the ringing group there. And the final bird had been ringed in Ely as a chick in June 2016.

Tom